KARACHI    -   Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain Chaudhry said on Monday that the federal ministry of science and technology had made a 600 percent increase in its development budget.

The federal minister was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the four-day 7th International Symposium-Cum-Training Course on Molecular Medicine and Drug Research held at Prof Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium, organised by Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), Karachi University.

Over 700 scientists, including 100 scientists from 35 countries, including Turkey, Iran, Iraq, China, Egypt, Syria, Italy, Nigeria, Greece, USA, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Sweden, New Zealand, Hungry, Indonesia,  Jordan, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Sudan, Thailand, Oman, Cameron, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal etc are attending the event.

“Pakistan is heading towards the manufacturing of solar and lithium batteries, as Chinese companies ready to set up solar energy plants in Pakistan,” Fawad said. The problem of drinking water in Karachi will be resolved in the next 16 months. The recent sit-in protest of JUI-F diminished the attention of the international community towards Kashmir issue, he lamented. He said it was imperative for students of pure sciences to study the ideas of philosophers and social thinkers to know the science of society.

Fawad Chaudhry pointed out that science and education come first in the priorities of the government, as the science & tech ministry was going to create strong coordination among the country’s best 15 research institutions for the promotion of science and research culture. Around 600 percent increase in the budget of science and technology showed the sincerity of the government towards science and research. He informed the participants that the government was prioritising the education at school and college level.

Talking to media, he lamented that Pakistan’s initiative to highlight the Kashmir issue in the international community got weakened due to the sit-in protest of JUI-F. He pointed out that there was no comparison between PTI sit-in and the recent, as PTI first knocked on the doors of courts and commissions. After making all the efforts, PTI was forced to observe a sit-in protest.  

The minister also welcomed the large number of foreign delegates, and said that he was pleased to see a large number of foreign scientists participating in the prestigious symposium. This major science event was indeed an important step forward towards a better understanding of diseases at the molecular level and towards developing safe and effective drugs against prevailing disorders, he added.

KU Vice Chancellor Prof Khalid Iraqi said that there was a pressing need to prioritise training programmes for our young scientists.

“We are confident that this international event will not only help in generating scientific interest of young scholars in extremely important field health care research, but also foster productive linkages between the scientists beyond the national boundaries,” he added.

He mentioned that the focus of this event was on the understanding of the diseases process at the molecular level and development of new therapies against a group of diseases which truly effecting the human race in a most profound manner.

He observed that chronic diseases such as Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, cardiovascular and neurological disorders, as well as widespread infectious diseases are global menace, for which humanity has failed to develop successful treatments and preventive strategies. This spectacular failure of science and technology demands both new approaches and fresh looks to old wisdom.

He mentioned that this event will cover various aspects of the subject with complete authority, including the understanding of the disease at the molecular level, identification of new drug targets, scientific evaluation of folk remedies, best practices in the management of diabetes by natural products, and preclinical and clinical studies on plant based anti-diabetic medicines.

Prof Atta-ur-Rahman said that science was about building bridges between the countries. This science conference is not only about quality and excellence but also about friendship and cooperation between many nations. 

Talking about the government’s current initiatives in science and technology, he said that two billion rupees had been approved for two ministries. As many as 27 mega projects have been initiated to foster science, research and education in the country. These government projects will help the nation in harnessing the benefits of modern science.

Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Chaudhary, Director, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) University of Karachi (UoK) said that ICCBS was one of the premier research establishments in the developing world. Its reputation for scientific research and training extends far beyond the country’s borders, he said.

Karachi University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Mehmood Iraqi, Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, Chairman, Prime Minister’s National Task Force on Science and Technology, Chairperson Dr Panjwani Memorial Trust Ms Nadira Panjwani, Chairman Husein Ebrahim Jamal Foundation Aziz Latif Jamal, Director ICCBS Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Chaudhary, French scholar Prof Dr Georges Massiot, Greek scientist Prof Dr Ioannis P Gerothanassis, German scientist Prof Dr Bertram Flehmig, and the Symposium Coordinator Dr Asmat Salim also expressed their views in the inaugural ceremony.